On Wednesday, after Spanish classes at ECELA, we went to Universidad Mayor for a game night they were having in celebration of their “English Week.” It was great to see how they take pride in what they are studying (English) and find ways to make it fun. The best part, though, was that instead of just observing, we decided to get involved. Right away, Christine (Ms. Social Butterfly) and I volunteered to go on stage and take part in the games. Afterwards, some of the other girls got involved as well, and Rachel even showed them one of her steps. We definitely left a great impression there! We invited ourselves to join in, but they received it very well! The reaction we got for just going on stage made it seem like we were celebrities. One thing I’ve noticed about Santiago is that the people here LOVE having foreigners in the city.
Thursday was an interesting day because we had to present about the U.S. education system at Universidad Mayor. I’ve done quite a few presentations before, but this one was different because it was the first time that I was speaking to a crowd of people of whom English was there second language. This was a slight challenge for me because although I’ve presented many times before, I still get a little nervous each time; and when I get nervous, I speak faster. However, I knew that this time, no matter what I did, I could not speak fast! Since much of the crowd was still learning English, it was imperative that I spoke slowly and chose my words wisely. Now that I think about it, this was great practice for teaching!
Friday was our last day at ECELA. I’m a little sad about that because I was learning so much there and I want to continue. However, I am excited about going to the elementary school this week instead, so I guess it’s kind of bitter-sweet for me. After our class at ECELA, we had a BBQ at Cajon de Maipo with the students at Universidad Mayor. It was great attending this event because we were at Universidad Mayor on Wednesday (for the game night event) and Thursday (for the presentation) and therefore met and interacted with a lot of students (other than our pen pals) there; so on Friday when we showed up at the BBQ, we were greeted with a warm welcome! It was really nice to be there, knowing people, and feeling like we belonged.
Hello all, or should I say “¡hola!”? My name is Crystal and I’ve recently graduated SUNY Buffalo State with a degree in Elementary Education (grades 1-6) and Social Studies Education (grades 7-9). I will soon begin my studies for Literacy Specialist Certification, but not before I embark on this wonderful journey to Santiago, Chile. For me, this trip beings the opportunity for me to immerse myself in another culture, experience language learning, and adopt new teaching styles; all of which will contribute to making me a teacher who is culturally responsive and able to cater to the diverse needs of students. I anticipate that this trip wil be filled with excitement, challenges, and new understandings! So please, join me for the ride!